hold tongue

hold tongue
also, bite tongue


  • to keep quiet when one would rather speak
  • used when telling people not to speak

Example Sentences

  1. When she said that she was very hardworking I had to hold my tongue.
  2. I often have to hold my tongue when he tells me how good he is at football. I know that he can hardly kick.
  3. You better hold your tongue while we are in the museum, young man!
  4. You need to hold your tongue while the principal is talking during assemble today.
  5. I had to hold my tongue in order to keep the peace at our family gathering.


The idiom is a synonym of "bite your tongue" which has the same meaning. It is often used after someone has said something instead of before.

In the case of "hold your tongue" the word hold is used in place of refrain. To refrain means to keep from doing something. So, if you refrain your tongue you keep it from doing something. It is also meant to keep your peace. As used in the traditional wedding vows: "speak now or forever hold your peace."

The Tale of Melibus (c. 1387): "Thee is better hold thy tongue still, than for to speak."

, , ,

H Share your thoughts

Add your thoughts

Idiom of the Day

never in wildest dreams

never in wildest dreams Meaning: - something that has happened was so strange that one never thought it would happen Examples: 1. Never in my wildest dreams did ... Read on


Like Facebook Page

Latest Thoughts

Keep in Touch

Copyrights © 2020 - The Idioms - All Rights Reserved.
Copy Link